Design Build Work? Don't Forget About Environmental Concerns

Posted: April 11, 2011

Today, with the resurgence of design build work to deliver a comprehensive set of services, it is important that the integrated team doesn’t overlook environmental issues.  Since the design build team takes full accountability for concept to completion of the project, the requirements for addressing environmental concerns that might normally fall to the owner now fall squarely on the design build team.   If the design build project involves the demolition or renovation of a building, federal law requires that all asbestos and lead paint that might be disturbed is first identified and quantified.

A partial list of environmental concerns associated with a renovation of demolition project includes:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead-based paint
  • PCB-containing light ballasts
  • Mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs
  • PCB-containing caulks
  • Underground tanks

Every design build renovation/demolition project should include a budget item for an inspection of the building for environmental concerns that will be encountered during the course of construction.  If environmental concerns are discovered, then the remediation can be addressed during the planning and design phase.  This will prevent the stoppage of the construction project once it is underway, and will prevent unnecessary surprises during the project.  Federal law requires such an inspection and local laws may have even more stringent requirements.

Protect your client.  Protect your workers.  Provide for an environmental inspection early in the design build process for any renovation or demolition project.

KEM is an experienced design build team member and can work with you to integrate any and all environmental requirements into your project.  Our engineers and industrial hygienists will assure compliance with all applicable laws and will protect the health and safety of the construction team.